A Paso Robles man was sentenced to life in prison without parole Wednesday for murdering his girlfriend and their unborn baby in 2019, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office said in a news release.
Daniel Raul Rodriguez Johnson, 34, pleaded guilty in September to the first-degree murder of Carrington Jane Broussard, 27, and second-degree murder of their full-term unborn baby and admitted to the special circumstance of committing multiple murders.
Johnson could have faced the death penalty for his crimes, but the District Attorney's office decided to seek the mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole instead, "after careful consideration of all facts related to the case and the background of the defendant," according to the release. That included consulting with surviving family members of the victims and local law enforcement.
"We are satisfied that the defendant has now taken personal responsibility for his unimaginably horrific crimes," District Attorney Dan Dow said in the release. "Life in prison without the possibility of parole is an appropriate sentence given that he took two innocent lives and assures he will not pose a danger to our community in the future."
Dow added: "Our prayers are with the family and friends of Carrington and her unborn baby."
Murderer stole CHP vehicle, led car chase
In March 2019, Johnson stole a California Highway Patrol vehicle that stopped to assist him on Highway 46 near Templeton.
He led a high-speed car chase through the northern coast of the county that ended on Highway 1 near San Simeon. He had his and Broussard's two daughters in the car with him and left them behind when he stole the CHP vehicle.
After apprehending Johnson, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office deputies visited his home near Lake Nacimiento in rural Paso Robles.
They found Broussard's body stabbed to death when they arrived. Their baby was scheduled to be delivered via cesarean section the next day.
Johnson has previously been convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol twice, according to San Luis Obispo County Superior Court records.